Rev 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
God knows what is going on in His churches. He commends the things we are doing right. In the case of the Ephesian church, He was pleased with their work, with their longsuffering under the onslaught of persecution, with their impatience with evil doers and for standing for the truth.
But along with the Lord's commendations, He is sure to add His condemnation. That church was lacking in its love and passion for the Lord Himself. They were so caught up in the work, their personal relationship with Him waned. Sometimes, servants get so involved in their service, they lose sight of the one they are serving!
He cautioned them to recall where they once had been, realize their backslidden state and get things turned around or they would cease to be a heaven-sanctioned church.
If a church started by the Apostle Paul himself would receive such commendation and condemnation, why do we 21st century Christians think we can just play church and act so nonchalant about the Great Commission and stray so far from vital devotional lives and think God's stamp of approval remains upon our churches?
I mean, really, surely there are a few good things our Bible preaching churches are doing, Praise the Lord! But we must be so careful to maintain our close relationship to Jesus, branches drawing from the Vine our necessary spiritual vitality.
We may cross our theological "I's" and dot our ecclesiastical "T's" just so, but are we drawing close to the Savior's precious bleeding side each and every moment?
Let's remember what it is to live and move and have our being in Him and get back to our first love.